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UP to appeal against court's ruling on Muslims
April 06, 2007 02:09 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government will file an appeal against the Allahabad high court's "very unfortunate" ruling that Muslims in the state could no longer be treated as a religious minority, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
"This judgment is a very unfortunate one...We will definitely appeal and get the order revised," Yadav told PTI.
"We will appeal in the high court and, if necessary, in the Supreme Court...The status of the minorities will remain unchanged. This is the responsibility of the state government," he said.
The state is within its constitutional rights to decide which community can be given minority status and it had even accorded such status to the Jain community, Yadav said.
"The Constitution clearly states that Muslims are a religious minority and we consider the order as unfortunate," he said.
The verdict by Justice S N Srivastava was given after applying the criteria of population and strength of a religious minority while relying on the census reports of 1951 and 2001. Muslims account for roughly 18.5 per cent of the population in Uttar Pradesh.
The judgment, likely to cause polarisation among political parties, came two days ahead of the first phase of the crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh starting on Saturday.